LARGE FORMAT; 8 X 10.5″; PB; 100 Pages.
Profusely illustrated with more than 100 items, photos and lithographs. The capture of Vimy Ridge in April 1917 was a significant, tangible victory during a period of the war when the Allies had little to celebrate. When the Canadians stormed the Ridge on April 9th, 1917, the victory was not solely their own, it was shared by the Allies. It was a huge propaganda victory and great morale boost to the sagging Allied spirits. And it was the Canadians who did it. They had accomplished what few thought possible, and their victory brought notoriety and a reputation for success. Canada had never had this before. We were always lost behind the banner of the great British Empire. Now we stood alone. The confidence gained at Vimy lead to greater victories in 1917-18.
The successes of the Canadian Corps created a huge sense of National pride, and it started at Vimy. So it was not surprising that Canada chose to erect their National Monument on Vimy Ridge. It was decided that the unveiling of the Vimy Memorial would be a special event, and a unique Pilgrimage was planned. In July 1936 a convoy of 6,200 Canadian veterans, war widows and their children crossed the Atlantic. Their journey would satisfy the thirst for Remembrance and once again allow the Canadians to feel the sense of pride that only sacrifice and success can bring. Many felt the gathering of the clouds of war.
It seemed that only a brief time remained before a Pilgrimage like this, and the history of the Great War itself, would be eclipsed by the onslaught of terrible events. This book is about that great Pilgrimage, the unveiling of the incredible Vimy Memorial, and the ephemera that survives to this day. Today simple pieces of these treasures surface in Flea Markets, Stamp shows, Antique shops and on the internet. The fact that 6,200 Canadians could have mailed and saved so many interesting items is a testament to their incredible feelings of pride.
The Vimy Pilgrimage was hugely significant event in Canadian history, and it is astonishing that so few Canadians have any knowledge of it. Hopefully this book may resurrect this unique piece of our Heritage.
Edited by Norm Christie